From the best-Republican-president-ran-as-a-Democrat files:
Citing the financial burden in a struggling economy and after Republican protests, President Barack Obama on Friday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to shelve a proposal to tighten smog standards.And guess who else praised the decision?
"I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover," Obama said in a statement announcing the order.
Environmental activists immediately pounced on the move as a retreat by a weakened Obama administration trying to cut deals with Republicans in Congress. And the American Lung Association vowed to fight the move in court.
Republican lawmakers have blamed what they see as excessive regulations for some of the country's economic woes.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, welcomed the move. "This is certainly a good first step," said his spokesman, Michael Steel.
Major industry groups had lobbied hard for the White House to abandon the smog regulation, and applauded Friday’s decision.It's only wimps like people with asthma who were opposed to it. But don't you see: Reducing uncertainty works for them, too, because now they know that they will get attacks in the future, too!
“The president’s decision is good news for the economy and Americans looking for work. EPA’s proposal would have prevented the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority,” said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.
I feel like a parrot when I keep writing about the fact that we are not supposed to protect businesses against uncertainty, because they get paid for handling it. So take all that as said.
Here's where I pretend to talk to the president:
Show me exactly how many jobs will be created in this country by not applying the stricter smog standards.
Show me that the benefits of those extra jobs exceed the mortality and morbidity costs caused by the current smog standards continuing.
Finally, show me what the distribution of benefits and costs are across people of different income groups. And perhaps across Republicans and those other people, the ones who voted for you.
You don't have all those numbers handy? Then why did this cancellation happen?
Yeah, I know the real answer.